Today, website optimisation involves much more than keywords. It’s a combined set of strategies that improve site performance – driving traffic, increasing conversions and building brand loyalty. Here’s our top 10 tips for creating (and nurturing) a website that works wonders for you.
According to HubSpot, Google alone processes approximately 63,000 search queries every second, translating to 5.6 billion searches every day and approximately 2 trillion global searches each year.
In this ultra-crowded and competitive environment, truly effective website optimisation calls for an integrated approach more than ever.
Website optimisation: The bigger picture
Today, SEO and user experience go hand-in-hand.
SEO helps drive high-quality traffic to your website and improve its position in search results.
When people land on your site, a strong brand identity and great user experience make them linger longer, delve further, share your content, become customers – and come back again. In turn, this is all noticed by Google, and improves site discoverability, ranking and traffic.
A website without SEO could be brilliantly designed and great for users – but that’s wasted if potential customers never find it.
A site brimming with targeted keywords may attract traffic initially – but a frustrating experience will see visitors make a hasty retreat, with high bounce rates, few (if any) conversions, and lower rankings than other websites.
They work as a team, but each brings its own magic to the performance of your site.
What to look for in a website optimisation company
When it comes to choosing a website optimisation company, prioritise a partner that understands this balanced, integrated approach – and what’s needed to make a website really work. Ideally, they’ll understand your website is also a brand and user experience – and have skills and experience across branding, website design and development, digital and social, and copywriting.
“It’s not just important for your users to find your website – it’s important for them to stay on your website, interact with your content, and come back later. SEO actually takes into account whether or not your visitors are staying on your website and engaging with other content.”
Our top 10 tips
With this in mind, we’ve compiled our top 10 web optimisation tips – across both user experience and SEO – to take your website to the next level in 2023 and beyond.
1. Seamless mobile experience
According to Statista, mobile devices generate more than half of global website traffic – and it is critical that your website is optimised for a mobile-friendly experience. It should be easy to see, read, interact and navigate easily on a phone screen. If you have any doubt of the impact, consider this: it has been found that improving mobile site speed by 0.1 seconds can result in an 8% increase in conversions (Deloitte, 2020). In addition, 73.1% of web designers think that non-responsive design (to multiple devices) is a top reason why visitors leave a website. (GoodFirms, 2021). If you want to check your website, consider using the Google mobile-friendly test.
2. Page loading speed
Faster loading times improve user experience and, according to many experts including Search Engine Journal, can improve search engine rankings. There are a range of tactics for improving page speed, including: compressing images, enabling browser caching (so a user’s browser temporarily stores webpage data, making it load faster when they return to the site) and minimising unnecessary scripts.
3. Easy navigation and internal links
When it comes to user experience, a site with easy and intuitive navigation makes people stay longer. Users should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and simply: via legible fonts, a clear and logical menu bar, a search function and uncluttered design.
Including relevant internal links (between related pages on your website) helps users navigate through your digital content, encourages them to explore further (thereby signalling the value and use of your site to search engines), and makes it easier for search engines like Google to crawl and index your website.
4. Optimise metadata and keywords
Identifying and targeting the right keywords is a crucial component of any successful SEO strategy. Conduct keyword research to add keywords naturally and effectively into the website’s meta tags, meta titles, page titles and meta descriptions, headings and content.
Using the right keywords, in the right way, can improve search engine rankings, increase traffic and click-through rates, attract relevant audiences (interested in what you have to say or sell) and increase brand awareness. Most importantly, keywords should be reviewed regularly, to measure effectiveness and account for algorithm updates.
A word on keyword stuffing!
These days, it is almost universally acknowledged that “keyword stuffing” – or using a high volume of keywords in an unnatural way – is a no go. Not only does it make for a jarring and frustrating user experience (and damages brand image), but keyword stuffing goes directly against Google’s own spam policies and might rank lower on search engine result pages or not show up at all.
This perspective on content quality became even more pronounced with Google’s Panda algorithm update. Previously, Google’s algorithms largely evaluated websites based on links. However, Panda shifted the focus to the quality of a website’s content.
While links remain crucial, Panda brings a rigorous evaluation of content, penalising “low-quality” or “thin” sites and favouring those offering genuine, valuable content. For businesses, this reinforces the importance of not just building links but also ensuring content is top-notch and valuable to users.
The key, then, is to choose the right words, use them “normally”, and write to engage your reader.
Fresh, engaging content is the cornerstone of any marketing and website optimisation strategy, including blog posts, customer testimonials and case studies, videos, flipbooks and more. Content that is truly helpful for audiences (and helps solve pain points) can do so much – including, according to HubSpot, increase audience retention, build trust and authority, generate leads and increase conversions. Quality content can also improve SEO rankings, with Google prioritising “helpful, reliable information that’s primarily created to benefit people, not to gain search engine rankings, in the top search results”.
First impressions count – and in the world of search engines, a strong digital marketing strategy is crucial for making distinctive impressions and are vital to cut through. Your website should represent your unique brand and be optimised toward search intent. It should showcase consistent and authentic brand messages, enhance organic traffic, and encourage positive word-of-mouth messaging.
This can all be achieved by leveraging quality content and a responsive web design, setting you apart from competitors on search engine result pages and influencing customer decision-making. We know from experience that achieving long-term success can’t be done with a generic template; that’s why website SEO and thoughtful web design are key.
Use concise language that readers can scan via headlines, subheads, bullets, images and graphics. Also, make sure that every page has a clear, compelling and well-placed call to action (CTA) that gives visitors a reason to stay on your website or take a specific action that will guide users to convert. (like “Subscribe”, “Learn More”, “Get Started”).
8. Dedicated landing pages
These are specific web pages that customers land on, after clicking on an online advertisement or CTA button, for example. Campaign or offer-specific landing pages can be powerful, highly targeted and effective in converting visitors into leads or customers. They usually include forms asking for contact information in return for an offer, like a free download.
9. User-friendly forms
Speaking of forms, if your website does require input or information from a visitor (sign-ups or to register for downloads), keep the forms incredibly simple and short – or they’ll stay empty! This not only improves site experience but is also favoured by search engines and helps with mobile friendliness as mentioned earlier.
A cumbersome form can deter users, leading to fewer interactions and potentially impacting how your site appears in Google search results. That’s why, keeping forms streamlined and free from unnecessary complications is essential for both SEO efforts and positive user experiences.
10. Analyse, test and tweak
There’s a huge range of metrics available to measure how much visitors are interacting with your site and online brand: from page views, average session duration and bounce rates to conversion rates and revenue attribution. Analytics tools like HubSpot or Google Analytics can provide valuable insights into your website content and page content. A thorough SEO audit can reveal issues like broken links or problematic url structure.
Moreover, comparative A/B testing is instrumental in pinpointing areas for improvement, be it CTAs, form fields, headlines, or a website pages layout. Don’t forget to pay attention to details like meta description, meta tags, and even technical SEO aspects like schema markup to ensure your website performs at its best.
The one thing that remains true for website optimisation is that it constantly changes, with the evolution of algorithms, audience needs, tools and techniques. Choose a website optimisation company that understands the bigger picture and can partner with you to get it right, for today and tomorrow.
Let’s make your website work hard – and drive measurable results for your business and brand. Talk to us today.
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